(Sacramento, CA) — The California chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America urges the California Senate Appropriations Committee to pass legislation introduced by Representatives Nancy Skinner and Das Williams (AB 1014) that would allow law enforcement and immediate family members to obtain a gun violence restraining order when a person poses a risk of injury to self or others by having a firearm. The legislative push is prompted by the mass shooting in Isla Vista near UCSB where a man killed six people before also killing himself—even after his parents contacted police about his dangerous and threatening behavior.
“When tragedies happen, we always ask ourselves: what could have been done to prevent it? This bill helps answer that question by giving Californians a way to prevent dangerous people from killing themselves or others with a gun,” said Deborah Hernandez, volunteer with the California Chapter of Moms Demand Action.
“The goal of this legislation is not taking guns away – it’s about preventing gun violence and saving lives,” continued Hernandez. “When a dangerous person presents warning signs he is likely to commit violence, immediate family members and law enforcement are often the first to see the signs – but currently there may not be anything they can do to keep guns out of that person’s hands. This bill closes a fatal gap in current law, which is why we urge the legislature to put the safety of California families and communities first and pass this bill during the final weeks of session.”
- The gun violence restraining order process in AB 1014 mirrors the existing process for domestic violence restraining orders. As with domestic violence restraining orders, an emergency gun violence restraining order can only be issued for a short period — at which point the restrained person is entitled to a full judicial hearing before a longer-term order is put in place. Once the person has an opportunity to appear, the judge determines if there is clear and convincing evidence he is likely to injure himself or others, and can then prohibit the person from having guns for one year.
- Under the California bill, any person who files for a gun violence restraining order, knowing the information to be false or otherwise with the intent to harass, is guilty of a misdemeanor.
- Connecticut and Indiana already have similar laws allowing law enforcement to petition for the removal of guns from dangerous people on an emergency basis.